Black Friday is known for boosting retail through the remainder of the year, and the new tradition has certainly helped the Android smartphone market. IBM projected that 15 percent of Black Friday sales this year would transact via mobile, and it turns out their expectations were right on track. On Friday evening, IBM Smarter Commerce reported that about 10.3 percent of online sales came through mobile shoppers, and about 17 percent of all shoppers today are using mobile devices.
It really speaks to the importance of mobile marketplaces, with tools like Google Shopper helping to drive advertising and access around online mobile sales. Amazon certainly recognizes the potential behind a mobile economy. Its Android-powered Kindle Fire is the perfect portal for a range of Amazon products, ranging from digital books and magazines to the actual Amazon store. In fact, Amazon saw success on both sides of mobile commerce this Black Friday, selling a record number of Kindle Fire tablets.
Amazon reported this morning that Black Friday resulted in their best-ever sales for Kindle devices, with the Fire leading the pack. Customers purchased “four times as many Kindle devices as they did last Black Friday—and last year was a great year,” says Dave Limp, vice president for Amazon Kindle. “In addition, we’re seeing a lot of customers buying multiple Kindles—one for themselves and others as gifts—we expect this trend to continue on Cyber Monday and through the holiday shopping season.” It certainly sounds impressive, but Amazon hasn’t revealed exact sales figures yet. Nevertheless, deep discounts on every Kindle in the product line has consumers snapping up the tablets like hot cakes.
Key to Android commerce is advertising
The success of Android’s tablet sales has incurred rumors that Amazon may venture into the smartphone market next. Facebook is another tech giant that’s expected to soon jump into the smartphone market too, building out its mobile commerce strategy around its social networking platform. Since word of an upcoming Facebook phone emerged about a week ago, speculation on the network’s handset has only grown. They, too, would need an extensive model for extending the Facebook marketplace to the mobile realm, finding more deeply integrated outlets for virtual goods, gaming and advertising.
Advertising is the key to any successful mobile commerce strategy, according to a recent article from The Guardian. This is where Google has the lead. While an Amazon and Facebook phone would likely run on the Android OS, Google is the ultimate winner as this market fleshes out. An Android-powered Facebook phone would be in competition with Google on Google’s own platform, highlighting the impact of the mobile OS and the rise of the smartphone as the most personal of all PCs to date. We could end up with some very different tactics around mobile advertising and commerce should Amazon and Facebook turn to Android for smartphone development, and it will be even more interesting to see how Google continues to maintain some level of control over its ad revenue through extensive mobile commerce and specialized devices.